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Rounds of heavy storms to target central U.S. into early next week

By Renee Duff, Accuweather.com
Rounds of heavy storms to target central U.S. into early next week

Portions of the central United States will remain at risk for drenching and locally damaging thunderstorms into early next week.

A nearly stationary weather pattern led to rounds of flooding downpours across the central Plains as July ended and August began, with more than 10 inches of rain reported in parts of Kansas.

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Huron, South Dakota, recorded its second wettest August day on record on Friday as 3.71 inches fell. Only Aug. 2, 1956, with its 4.11 inches, was wetter.

Drenching thunderstorms have shifted southward early this weekend, prompting flash flood warnings for portions of western Arkansas. Weather observers reported ditches and streams overflowing near Mt. Ida, Ark., early Saturday morning.

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Flash flooding dangers will continue into Saturday night as the downpours crawl through Oklahoma, Arkansas and expand into Texas.

"Motorists that encounter flooded roadways should seek alternate routes as it only takes 1-2 feet of moving water to sweep away most vehicles," AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott said.

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The weather will turn drier across the hardest-hit flood areas of the central Plains as the weekend comes to a close, according to Elliott.

However, a new round of thunderstorms is poised to ignite farther north later Sunday.

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Anyone with travel or outdoor plans from northern Minnesota through the Dakotas and into southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming could potentially be disrupted by the stormy weather.

Any storm in this swath has the potential to turn severe with damaging wind gusts and hail being the primary threats. An isolated tornado or two is also possible.

Torrential downpours will drastically reduce visibility on portions of interstates 29, 35, 90 and 94.

Motorists that do not slow down in the downpours will face a heightened risk of hydroplaning as water pools on the roadway.

The zone at risk for heavy, damaging thunderstorms will sink farther south as the new week begins.

Monday's threat zone is forecast to stretch from portions of northern Michigan, westward through Wisconsin, southern Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and eastern Wyoming.

Similar to Sunday, there will be the potential for damaging winds, hail and even an isolated tornado or two in the strongest thunderstorms.

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